Over 50 million people around the world suffer from schizophrenia. Early diagnosis of schizophrenia is difficult as there are no laboratory tests available. Nevertheless, there are many schizophrenia symptoms, which are used for the diagnosis of this disorder. Many of these symptoms are also present in other disorders such as dysfunctional thyroid, seizure, metabolic disorder, and tumor of the brain. This overlap results in delays in the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia. Currently, trials are conducted using brain imaging, tracking of eye movements, and sensory tests to arrive at standard methods of schizophrenia diagnosis.
These are the top five symptoms of schizophrenia:
- One of the top symptoms of schizophrenia is the ability of the patient to experience two different mental states in a short span of time. On the positive side they experience rushing thoughts, delusions, and hallucinations; on the negative side they become reclusive, withdrawn, and show apathy in social interactions.
- Other schizophrenia symptoms include cognitive disorders such as confusion, forgetfulness, poor focus, and the inability to abide by instructions. These are markedly similar to symptoms of depression or bipolar disorder.
- Schizophrenia symptoms can also manifest when the patients truly believe that nothing is wrong with them. The patients are paranoid about protecting themselves from the world around them.
- In the diagnosis of schizophrenia, physicians note facial schizophrenia symptoms; vacant expressions, unusual eye movements, and an inability to react or control involuntary movements of the tongue or mouth.
- Another top symptom of schizophrenia is sleep disorder. Physicians also look for more schizophrenia symptoms displayed by the patient: heightened awareness of sounds, smells, and lights, apparent tremors or jerky movements of the limbs, and any odd gestures.
A strong determinant for schizophrenia treatment is a family history of depression and suicidal tendencies. Schizophrenia frequently presents itself in early adulthood and can wreck all possibilities of a normal life for the patient if left undiagnosed.
As part of the treatment for schizophrenia, patients are prescribed anti-psychotic medications and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Another important measure in schizophrenia treatment is family counseling to provide a conducive and empathetic environment for the patient in the hope that they can return to normalcy.
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